Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Hello, Happy Mama: A Letter to My Brother

Hello Mama!

Summer in the days (or rather daze) of Corona has me doing a lot of soul-searching, reflecting and appreciating what is truly most important in life. As I think about family, friends and those in our community that I can’t wait to be able to see and serve again, I find myself thinking about what it really means to be a friend. To be a real friend, even when it’s hard, even when you’re very different from each other, even when the world says otherwise…now that is the real gift. So in honor of friendship, I would like to dedicate this article to my brother, my friend.

Our friendship first began when I was eight and he was 4. We bonded instantly over Star Wars, The Smurfs and Flash Gordon. We would play together for hours and hours and rarely fight. Well, except for that time that he took ALL of the furniture out of my doll house and placed it in the mud under the deck and blamed it on the dog! We would make forts in the house and create amazing escapes in our backyard. Our childhood consisted of pancakes with Nana, vacations in Palm Springs or Santa Barbara and pretending to be characters we saw in movies.

As we grew older, like most kids, we grew apart. We hung out in different social circles, had very different hobbies and honestly, only stayed connected because, we're family. Like most siblings, we definitely had a love-hate relationship throughout our childhood. Honestly, there were many times growing up that I would think to myself that there is no way we would ever be friends in "real life" if we weren't brother and sister.

I often tried to play the role of supportive big sister and sometimes I would play the role of "mom" a little too. As we grew up, moved out of our family home and started lives of our own, it was normal for us to not talk or see each other for months at a time. It wasn't anything that made me sad that we had grown apart because we were such different people. This pattern went on for years and years. And, continued until the ultimate heartbreak brought us back together: our mom's dementia. The very long goodbye of our mom was heartbreaking on the good days and devastating on the bad days (and there were a lot of very, very, bad days with this disease). 

Through it all, we managed to navigate the unknown by learning to lean on each other. We made one difficult decision after another, like when we decided that he would move his family to live with Mom. We came together when Mom went on hospice care and when she "graduated off" of hospice, we were there through every move and we were together in the end when Mom left this earth to her forever heavenly home.

Yes, my brother and I are unlikely friends. We are the polar opposites of each other and have very little in common, except for our love of Star Wars (don't get him started on The Last Jedi!). And, despite a journey that definitely broke us in so many ways, it was the one thing that I am most grateful for: his friendship. We talk or text every day. He loves to tease me about iPhone and I tease him about Android. We have added to our love of Star Wars with a mutual affection for Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and most recently Schitt’s Creek (gotta love the brother-sister relationship of Alexis and David!). And out of all of the people in my life, my bro is truly my most trusted and valued friend.

Happy Birthday Month, Brother. May the Force always be with YOU!

With love, Sis

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